The eyes of New Jersey’s political junkies on are Trenton this afternoon to see if the public rift between Governor Chris Christie and the Kean family will lead to the first override of a Christie veto.
The Pig Gestation Bill is on the Senate calendar for an override vote this afternoon. The bill, which would prohibited NJ pig farmers from caging gestating pigs in a manner such that they can not move or lay down for most of their lives passed both houses of the legislature overwhelmingly last spring. Christie vetoed the bill, noting that the State Supreme Court upheld the Humane Standards that the State Board of Agriculture and Department of Agriculture have set and enforced in accordance with the 1995 Administrative Procedures Act. In his veto message, Christie said he was confident the Board and Department would continue to monitor the humane treatment of gestating pigs, and that bill would inappropriately criminalize a practice that is not opposed by the American Veterinary Medical Association nor the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.
Christie critics and skeptics have said that the governor vetoed the bill with an eye toward the 2016 Iowa Republican Presidential Caucuses. Iowa is the largest producer of pork in the United States.
Don’t bet on an override, warn legislators who spoke to MMM on background.
As a matter of policy, since they voted for the bill last spring, the Republicans we talked to have learned that it is the Democrats supporting the bill, not Christie, who are playing presidential politics. The bill would not impact the quality of life for New Jersey pigs. No one knows of at New Jersey pig farmer that uses the gestation crates that the bill would prohibited.
As a matter of politics, New Jersey Legislative Republicans are united with the governor, the rift over this move to oust Tom Kean, JR as Senate Minority Leader notwithstanding. They are not going to weaken Christie’s negotiating position with the Trenton Democrats over a bill that has no impact on what is happening in New Jersey.
“Things are back to normal,” one legislator said, “The governor underestimated the trust, respect and affection the Senate Caucus has for Tom (Kean, Jr), and mishandled that situation. But when your friend makes a mistake, you don’t trash the friendship.”
Posted: November 18th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Assembly Republicans, Chris Christie, Legislature, NJ Democrats, NJ Senate Republicans, NJ State Legislature, Trenton Democrats, Trenton Republicans | Tags: Chris Christie, NJ GOP, NJ State Legislature, Trenton Republicans | No Comments »
To a legislator, the difference between being in the majority and being in the minority is as consequential as the difference between being in office and being out of office. That is why my political life was transformed in November 1985 when, as a…
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Posted: November 10th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: 2013 Election, Dick Zimmer, NJ State Legislature | Tags: Dick Zimmer, gerrymandering, NJ Legislature, NJSpotlight | 2 Comments »
Senator Tom Kean Jr was reelected Senate Minority Leader moments ago, according to a tweet by PolitickerNJ’s Matthew Arco.
Cross Kean off your list of possible challengers to U.S. Senator Cory Booker in 2014. Keep him on your list of potential candidates in the next gubernatorial election, whenever that is, either 2017 or a special election in 2015 or 2016 or Governor Christie resigns to run for president.
PolitickerNJ reports that Kean fought back a challenge by Christie’s strongest allies in the Senate to replace the son of the former governor with Sen. Kevin O’Toole. Kean prevailed 10-6.
Today’s leadership vote marks the first time that GOP Legislators have not complied with Christie’s wishes since the governor took office in 2010.
Kean released the following statement:
“I’m honored to again lead the Republican Caucus in the Senate and I thank my colleagues for their overwhelming support,” said Kean. “The responsibility to my caucus and all New Jerseyans is one I hold with great respect. I look forward to working with Governor Christie, Steve , Vincent and Jon.”
Steve is Senate President Steve Sweeney. Vincent is newly elected Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto of Hudson County. Jon is Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick who was reelected Minority Leader by the Assembly Republican Caucus.
Republican Senators Sam Thompson, Chairman of the Middlesex GOP, Chris Connors of Ocean County, and Robert Singer, Ocean and Monmouth, were vocally critical of Christie’s bi-partisan reelection strategy and cited Kean party building in an against all odds scenario presented by the gerrymandered legislative map, according to PolitickerNJ.
SaveJersey’s source in the GOP Senate caucus said that the 10 Senators who stood with Kean were concerned that O’Toole was “too close to the Governor” and would have endangered the “co-equal” character of the executive branch.
Trenton really has been turned upside down. Christie no longer has the only Republican spine in the Statehouse.
Senators Joe Kyrillos, Mike Doherty, Dawn Addiego, Kip Bateman and Steve Oroho voted with O’Toole.
Posted: November 7th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: NJ GOP, NJ State Legislature | Tags: #NJLeg NJ Legislature, 2016 Presidential politics, Sen Kevin O'Toole, Tom Kean JR | 8 Comments »
UPDATED: KEAN REELECTED MINORITY LEADER
The statehouse press corps is buzzing news on twitter about a possible change in the GOP leadership in the New Jersey State Senate.
Current Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean JR has been fighting to keep his leadership post since the election results…no pick ups in the Senate…on Tuesday. Kean released a letter signed by 11 of the 16 Republican Senators pledging their support for his reelection as leader to the press yesterday. Governor Christie declined to comment about the possible change in the Republican leadership in the Senate, but said that the he is “committed to Steve Sweeney” being President of the Senate.
Within the last half hour, The Star Ledger’s Matt Friedman and PolitickerNJ’s Matt Arco both tweeted that Kean entered Christie’s office and left a few minutes later, looking unhappy. Senator Joe Kyrillos entered Christie’s office 5 minutes after Kean left.
Neither Kean or Kyrillos would speak to reporters.
The Republican Senate Caucus is meeting to elect a their leader for the next legislative session this afternoon.
Kean’s relationship with Sweeney is not good, as Sweeney resented Kean targeting the Senate President seat. Sweeney responded by keeping all Republican sponsored legislation off the calendar. Since Tuesday’s election, Sweeney has been publicly taunting and teasing Kean for not gaining any ground for Republicans when the Governor was reelected by over 20%.
Christie needs Sweeney’s cooperation in order to get anything accomplished in a second term, whether Christie runs for president or not. If Kean’s unworkable relationship with Sweeney is an obstacle, tapping his trusted friend, the ever congenial Kyrillos, as Minority Leader makes perfect sense.
Posted: November 7th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: NJ GOP, NJ State Legislature | Tags: Chris Chrisie, Joe Kyrillos, NJ GOP, NJ Legislature, Steve Sweeney, Tom Kean JR, Trenton Republicans | 4 Comments »
Control of the N.J. Legislature is up for grabs today
TRENTON — Will Gov. Chris Christie turn the blue state Legislature red? With the Republican governor leading Democrat Barbara Buono by anywhere from 20 to 36 points in the latest polls, that’s the question on everyone’s mind. All 120 seats —…
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Posted: November 5th, 2013 | Author: admin | Filed under: 2013 Election, NJ State Legislature, NJNewsCommons | Tags: 2013 Election, NJ State Legislature | No Comments »
We’ll find out tomorrow night if Governor Chris Christie’s 11th push for coattails is working, but an FDU Public Mind Poll released this morning indicates that the Republican brand has been damaged by the antics of Congressional Republicans and that Christie’s personal popularity is not enough to overcome New Jersey’s Democratic tilt.
FDU surveyed 1206 registered voters last week on how they feel about the job Christie is doing in New Jersey, President Obama’s handling of the federal budget negotiations and Congressional Democrats and Republicans handling of the federal budget negotiations.
As has consistently been the case over the last year, Christie’s approval numbers are very strong. The governor’s approval rating is positive 61%-24%. Obama’s handling of the federal budget is disapproved of by 52% of NJ voters and approved by only 38%. Congressional Democrats got a negative rating from 57% with only 32% approving. 75% disapprove of how Congressional Republicans have handled the federal budget, including 79% of Independents and 58% of Republican voters. Only 14% of NJ voters, 33% of Republicans, approve of the job Congressional Republicans are doing on the budget.
FDU altered the order of their questions before asking participants their partisan identification. Those who were asked about Congressional Republicans immediately before being asked their party ID, were less likely to say they are Republican or that they would vote Republican.
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Posted: November 4th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, FDU Public Mind Poll, NJ State Legislature, Republican Party | Tags: Chris Christie, FDU Public Mind Poll, NJ State Legislature, republicans | 3 Comments »
There’s little hope for Republicans anyway if they don’t win a legislative chamber this year.
Vin Gopal’s ambitions are bigger than winning Democratic control of Monmouth’s county and municipal governments. He wants to make sure New Jersey never again has another Republican governor or U.S. senator.
“Once we turn Monmouth County blue, a Republican will never win statewide,” Gopal said last night at the annual Monmouth County Democrats Annual Chairman’s Ball, according to a report on PolitickerNJ.
State Senate President Steve Sweeney was on hand to boost Gopal’s plan of taking over Monmouth County from the bottom up.
“Build the party, bring as many people as you can to strengthen this organization, … and then once you create it you can win, there’s no reason why not,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney, who was invited to speak at the Monmouth County Democrats Annual Chairman Ball.
“It’s the effort that you put in and you’ve got to build from the foundation up,” he said, explaining first it’s the councils and then the freeholder boards.
“No Republican can win statewide if we can win this county,” Sweeney said. “It’s just a matter of attitude, energy and focus, and that’s what I’m seeing out of this county.”
Unless New Jersey Republicans win at least one chamber of the legislature on November 5, it is unlikely that a post Chris Christie Republican will be elected statewide for the foreseeable future anyway or that Republicans will ever control the legislature again.
If Republicans can’t pick up seats this year when they have a hugely popular governor cruising to a 30 point win on the top of the ticket, when will they? Not until there is another Jim Florio or Jon Corzine in Drumthwacket, or a Democratic version of Richard Nixon or George W. Bush in the White House, if even then.
Christie is going to be reelected by huge margins.
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Posted: October 23rd, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Election, Monmouth Democrats, Monmouth GOP, NJ State Legislature, Vin Gopal | Tags: #NJGov, 2013 Elections, Chris Christie, Monmout, Monmouth Democrats, NJ State Legislature, republicans, Steve Sweeney, Trenton Democrats, Vin Gopal | 14 Comments »